DailyDirt: You Say Tomato, I Say Tomahto

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Dead languages don’t change and evolve. It’s the languages that people speak the most that develop new words and new dialects. In the past, it’s been difficult to track the evolution of language, but with more and more wiretapped phonecalls digital voice recordings available for analysis, linguists are in a better position to study how languages are changing. Here are just a few interesting links on language dialects.

If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.

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Comments on “DailyDirt: You Say Tomato, I Say Tomahto”

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McCrea (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Don’t play sillily. “Assume good faith” is the rule. You didn’t really say anything more than I was wrong, either.

I did check a few dictionaries for you. Alas, they were different than they were 35 years ago; I have no evidence for my case. When we researched this in school, as instructed, generally “yeah” was not listed, or was listed as slang. Moreover, “Yea” had the secondary pronunciation which we are speaking about.

Offhand, I don’t know how to prove the past to you, unless I find a suitable 1970 dictionary, and you happen to have a sister. You can either believe me or not. Hence, why I gave no reason that doesn’t change anything.

Allen (profile) says:

barriers that prevent various English dialects from becoming their own languages

Is it lack of Geographical Isolation? or is it that teh interwebs (and ok the Plain old Telephone Service before that) have made Geographic Isolation != total isolation?

But he leaves off two other factors:

1) USAian entertainment syndicated at prices below those that local producers can compete with. Whether you call this cultural pollution (bay watch) or cultural enrichment (some example I can’t think of right now)you can’t deny that US TV and cinema are globally pervasive.

2) The two most globally dominate countries of the last few centuries were Britain and (at least for the time being) the US. Which means that English is The lingua franca.

Who knows? in 100 years the international lingua franca might be Chinese and condescending arseholes will be using English instead of Latin to say things like lingua franca.

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